How are you preparing for the New Normal?

How are you preparing for the New Normal?

Businesses have never been under more pressure to do more with less. But budgets and hours in the day are finite, so how do you unlock productivity and enable teams to get more done? And that was before the COVID-19 Crisis!

Can you imagine running a bar or restaurant and being ordered to close at short notice?

If you didn't have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system) you were very limited in what you could do. But those with a CRM could email their customers, offer them takeaway food and drink services, and maintain contact to respond to changing needs. Having information stored in paper systems or spreadsheets is very limiting if you need to work remotely. Whether you run a cafe, sell parts, build houses or provide training - whatever you do, there will be a way to improve productivity, manage employees, and deliver better customer service by implementing digital information management tools. 

Businesses with digital information tools were better equipped to adapt to the COVID 19 Crisis

With governments all over the World ordering lockdowns, closing businesses and ordering people to stay at home, there was little time to fundamentally change operations. Those businesses with better digital tools could adapt operations faster. 


"When our construction sites were having to close, our Vision Management System provided realtime information on every plot. This meant we could manage the different developments more strategically and adapt to the changing situation more intelligently than many of our competitors."

Jason Glover
Operations Director
Davidsons Homes


"Having an Online Management System enabled RISK to quickly deploy remote learning tools to course delegates. We are also agile in responding to the changing requirements of the regulating bodies as they adapt to the need for remote refresher courses and compliance driven qualifications."

Mike Adams
Managing Director
RISK & Safety Management Services Ltd


"Our people could work from home almost as easy as they could at their office desk. This was simply because all the crucial business information was in a Digital Management System."

Gareth Henson
Managing Director, Torex Europe 


Who saw COVID 19 coming?

Nobody that I know could have imagined the economic impact of COVID 19. So why did the companies above invest in digital information solutions? The answer's simple, people! Every business has some engagement with people, whether it's operations, employees, suppliers, or customers - if you deal with people you need a clear management process. Because people have different personalities, values and expectations - everybody thinks differently! Which means nobody can truly take responsibility for their results, because there are too many variables. People can only take responsibility for their actions, because these can be managed.

How does your business manage actions to differentiate?

The success of a business depends on the ability of its management systems. Because management systems provide visibility on actions to maintain standards. Management systems can keep the business and its people compliant, enhance communication, stimulate innovation, and drive productivity. The broader the management, the greater the impact. Which means this must happen both within, and across, the three core functions of the business; Sales, Operations & Finance. All too often these functions operate in silo's and only the macro KPI's are visible. But if you look at any successful athlete or business, they measure the micro details to make minor adjustments. They gain competitive advantage through the compound effect of small incremental changes, across a range of activities. 

Management Systems make people take actions which impact on behaviour

The trouble is most 'off the shelf management systems' make you conform to their way, leaving little room for differentiation. This may be ok for finance software, which provides tax returns to a compliance standard, but it does not give you an edge. Operational software provides a chance to optimise what you do and create a differentiation point. What you do must be attractive to customers, how you do it must be efficient. Digital systems can take feedback from micro KPI's to give you a dashboard of what's working and what isn't. Helping you make the small incremental changes across a range of activities.

How do you keep momentum in your business during the coronavirus shutdown? 

I can't believe any business owner is sitting at home hoping things will return as they were. The World has changed forever, the Covid-19 pandemic impact continues to shake the global economy and disrupt the way we live, work, and conduct business. Business leaders have past the initial shock of managing the immediate fallout, furloughing staff, adapting to remote working. Some have re-engineered working practices to abide by the new Social Distancing rules. But now it's about preparing for the 'new normal' - what's likely to be different? How has the crisis have impacted upon your customers expectations? What will they expect in the new normal?

How can you turbocharge your productivity post-COVID-19?

There's never been a better time to reimagine your business. According to the management consultants McKinsey & Company, UK productivity is 40% behind that of the United States, and 20% behind that of Germany. The root cause of this 'productivity gap' identified as low labour productivity, driven by a lack of exposure to global best practice, combined with a lack of competitive pressure and poor skills. What if you could feed-off the COVID-19 crisis to shake up your businesses? If you want to close the gap and turbocharge productivity, then ask the following questions:

How can you possibly:

  • Remove complexity by reducing product/service range?
  • Reduce the management ‘layer-cake’ and build faster decision-making protocols?
  • Invest in technology as the hub to your business, not just a spoke?
  • Create a more flexible supply chain model?
  • Create new approaches to supplier management and selection?
  • Use technology as an enabler to disperse your workforce?
  • Increase the use of staff collaboration tools to create a community spirit?
  • Develop a digital management resource, manage processes, planning and systems?
  • Standardise the ways of working, underpinned by better tracking and skills training?

There will be opportunities - are you ready?

Business leaders should strive to see beyond short-term operational efficiencies and clearly identify competitive advantage opportunities through productivity. Simple common-sense leadership questions still apply despite the pandemic.

  • Who are your future customers and what new products will they need?
  • What is your core intellectual property that will create competitive advantage?
  • How can you use technology to positively disrupt and drive efficiencies?
  • How can you create a better brand and a customer pull marketing effect?
  • Who can possibly help you deliver this?

 

Quiet Storm has a proven track record of delivering bespoke digital management tools. Often helping clients find grant funding to support developments costs, but always delivering exceptional ROI. If you are thinking about re-imagining your processes, we can share some ideas and explore the opportunities. Just get in touch by calling 01530 510810 or emailing info@quietstorm.net

 

Author of this COVID-19 Business Support Hub Article

Stephen Megson, Founder of Love Business and Business Owner

Steve Megson

I'm a keen sailor and experienced in encountering the unknown at sea. With my son, Josh, I sailed my boat to Spain from my home port of Poole, my greatest adventure to date (if you read the blog you'll understand why!). Encountering the unknown is about having a clear goal and making sure you keep focused - no matter what happens.

More About Quiet Storm

 

Stephen Megson

A business owner since I was 21 –I was one of the 'enterprise allowance'  generation and started my business back in 1987. I've ridden the waves of a few recessions and overcome plenty of unknowns. I understand the pressure of employing people and the emotional rollercoaster times like this put you through. I've been very fortunate in my career to work with many brilliant visionaries. I've learnt much from them, but for those who know me well, know my quest for learning is never satisfied.

I now specialise in behaviour and business process optimisation, so look at how businesses interact with their people, customers and other stakeholders. I then work collaboratively with businesses to drive out waste and optimise their processes. This is largely through some form of digitisation, resulting in web applications and operational software to manage their systems, processes and KPI's.

I'm passionate about business and have a strong sense of community, which is why I started Love Business back in 2012, as I saw the innovative business owners start to thrive whilst other remain in a cycle of self-fulfilling doom as a result of the media channels negative news coverage. This is why Love Business only covers good news, focusses on the positive and looks to share all that's helpful.

 

How to get in touch with Steve Megson

www.quiet-storm.net

 

 

COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 
 

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